Titanic Song 20 Year Tribute

   I am so excited to post this video for you all. I have loved this song since seeing the movie. It wasn’t twenty years ago, since I was 6 years old when it came out, but I still love the movie like a true fan. It is a masterpiece for sure. I hope you enjoy my tribute and make sure to “like” and “subscribe” to my channel. Thank you for all your support!

im flying

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Why Can’t Disney Be Culturally Correct?

   Disclaimer: This post has spoilers inside, I don’t own the images in this blog post, I have not been paid for this blog post by Disney or any affiliate, and I LOVE Disney still.

   As many kids in the 80s and 90s, I grew up watching Disney Princess movies. I loved them then and I love them now, but, as I have gotten older, I have seen how Disney isn’t very good about one thing their movies. They are not very culturally correct. It’s a real bummer really because they miss out on the chance to really share with the world the culture the movie is about. You probably have some that came to mind immediately but the ones in particular that bug me are Aladdin, Mulan 1 and 2, Moana, and Pocahontas.

   Were any of these on your list? Now I am not an expert or anything but I can see enough to know that these are all white people stories in different colors. Take Aladdin for example.

aladdin

   Can anyone else just see the cultural issues with this? I’ll give you a hint. It is Jasmine’s outfit. In the beginning of the film you are shown hookers who are more covered up than the princess. In no Muslim country would a princess be allowed to dress like Jasmine is. If she did, she would be flogged and probably killed for the immodesty she boldly showed against her family. Jasmine would have looked more like this.

muslim woman

   It wouldn’t have been as fun to animate but at least it would ten times more modest.

   The other one is about this scene here where they fly off on Carpet together. Now I love “A Whole New World” just like any other Disney fan, but there is a huge cultural problem. In no way would a woman be seen off with another man without her father or brothers to escort her to the market let alone around the world. Once again, this was a behavior that would have ended with her life more than likely.

   The next movie that was so blatantly wrong culturally was Mulan and Mulan 2, but Mulan 2 was much more of an embarrassment. Mulan is this girl that goes off to war in the place of her father. Super sweet and super messed up. The whole matching thing isn’t totally off since the goal for any woman in the ancient China was to get a man to marry her. Women were seen as hinderances to the family and not an asset. So when it appeared that Mulan had this great and understanding relationship with her father that was not always the case. The fact that she would sacrifice herself to save her father would be very unusual. Most women couldn’t even read let alone know how to navigate a map.

mulan

   But other than the talking dragon and the fact that she was so comfortable hugging the Emperor after receiving his gifts, the movie wasn’t a complete loss with the cultural knowledge I have. The movie that made me sick was Mulan 2.

mulan 2

   Now granted, Mulan 2 is COMPLETE fiction, but it is still based on a culture and Disney should have been aware of it. For example, just because one woman might have saved China wold change centuries of thought on the importance of women in the way they acted, dressed and interacted. So in the song “Lesson Number One” where the girls find Mulan in the field and then beg her to teach them how to fight would have been greatly frowned upon. Really these children would have not been allowed to leave their parent’s side because there would be too much work to be done.

   Next is the fact that the Emperor calls on Mulan like she was a regular soldier. If I was Mulan and actually made it home alive, the last thing I would want to be considered is a regular soldier for the ridicule alone of leaving the first time. This would have left her with the men having little respect for her.

   Then there is the fact that Shang actually asks her to marry him like a modern couple. If Shang wanted to marry Mulan he would have gone to her father and the deal would be struck whether Mulan liked it or not. So there is another thing that was culturally incorrect.

   Thirdly there was Mulan’s opinion on the arrange marriage. A soldier would never second guess the Emperor. Which then leads into the princesses and their song “Other Girls”. As princesses, these girls had more rights and privileges than any girls in their time. If you wanted to be like other girls, that meant being thrown in the rice fields doing back breaking work, still having to marry whom your father chose, and not doing or behaving in any fashion as described in the song. Why? Because other girls weren’t climbing trees, speaking for herself,  marrying for love, slouching, and “just to be free like other girls get to be”. The princesses would never dare dishonor their father by leaving to go with the soldiers and definitely not unescorted. If their father found out the great dishonor his children had brought upon him, he would have treated them like they were dead.

   Speaking of dead. What was with the American accent of the Mong bandits? I mean really? But then the sadness comes and Shang dies. So sad. So then Mulan decides she is going to give herself as replacement for the princesses so that the they and the soldiers can be together forever in their complete dishonor. Sounds like a great honeymoon right? Oh it gets better for the fact that Mulan does this herself. Her father would have been the only one to do such a thing and something tells me he would have signed the dotted line. Who wouldn’t want his daughter to marry a prince? The family would be set forever. But she is saved because good ole Shang lived from his death fall and interrupts the ceremony even though the tie was tied and the unity of the prince and Mulan were complete.

   What does that mean? Shang stole a married woman! Talk about scandalous. But her guardian Mushu saved the day and some how got them all to believe that her previous marriage from five seconds ago was invalid. So the little ceremony that Mushu performed wasn’t valid either so good thing they went back to get married at home.

   Whew. I am tired of all this cultural horse pucky going around, aren’t you? Well, I am not done. There are two more movies that need to be addressed and the next one is the smash hit – Moana.

moana.jpeg

   I actually had to do a little research on this one, but it broke my heart that once again Disney just couldn’t help themselves and ruined a perfect chance to educate people. So Moana is actually Samoan. I knew that she wasn’t Hawaiian, but I wasn’t sure so that is what my research pulled up and from there it just spilled more issues like a woman being a chief, the stereotypes of Samoan and Philippine men, the fact that the fight coconut people, and Maui I guess has a lady friend already. Sorry Moana.

   But I have to touch on the coconut thing since I thought that was something odd. Turns out, the reason the little pirate people being coconuts is offensive is because it would be like calling a white person a cracker (I am white so I can say that). It’s the slur against the people group. So don’t say coconuts I guess, but it was something that Disney should have known.

   The other thing was the fact that Moana was a woman. Even though I believe women were seen a little better in the islander cultures, she was still a woman, and would not been given the spot as chief. This new thing where women can rule over men is really backward from the time periods these movies are written. I wish that Disney would just stick to history and be right for once. History isn’t a bad thing.

   And Maui has a lady friend I found out that should have been in the movie, but was written out. Even though there is no official love connection between Moana and Maui, it was obvious that by the end of the movie there are some feelings there. I mean Maui came back for her for goodness sake! How isn’t that love in a Disney movie? He was pretty much saying, “lets stop fighting the lava monster and make demi babies” for crying out loud. But then again, Disney doesn’t like telling the whole story. Imagine the ear full that Maui got when he finally got home. I would not want to be anywhere near that argument.

   So we have covered the basics of the movies that came to my mind, but this next movie has to the be the first of everyone’s list in America since it is a story from our history books. Pocahontas is one of my favorite movies because of its music. I still get goosebumps at “Colors of the Wind” every  time I hear it. I just love it, but I don’t like what they did to the movie.

pocahontas-dp_5151.jpg

   The movie goes on that there is this attractive Native American woman (who I am actually related to by the way) who loves her people but is too stubborn to go the way her people want. Then she meets strapping John Smith who steals her heart and then his people get in the way, one of them shoots the man that Pocahontas is supposed to marry, John Smith almost dies, Pocahontas saves him by speaking some pretty good truth about how we are all the same, and then John Smith gets shot and has to be shipped back to England for treatment.

   Not a bad story in itself if they had just changed the names of the characters. How do you think we all felt in third grade when the topic in history that day was Pocahontas and we find out the horrible truth? She was actually twelve years old when she meets John Smith who is in his forties, he proceeds to have sexual relationships with her regularly and forces her to talk with her people about the white people staying. I have no idea where Cocoum even comes in since he is not mentioned. But John Smith is captured, Pocahontas does save him, and he is shot and needed to go back to England.

   Would you have taken your kids to see that film? Probably not. Oh! And the best part! He gives her an STD which she dies from in England but not after giving it to John Rolfe who is the one she actually marries. At least she has a son who was now in the middle of all this drama. I think it would have made a good reality TV show actually.

   So now the question is, why is it impossible for Disney to be culturally right? Why do they have to turn every movie into a white movie? I have no idea, but it would be nice if they did. I would appreciate being able to share a Disney movie and say to my daughter, “yes this is how life for them really is” whether they are a better people than ourselves or ones where their history may not be the shiniest. At least it would be the truth.

   What are some others that I didn’t mention? I would love to know so that I can be there to properly educate my daughter when we are watching these movies together.

Have a great day! 🙂

Why I Like to Write

   People ask me all the time why I think writing is fun. What isn’t fun about it? You get to the be the boss! You kind of get to play God with these characters you create in your head and the lives you give them. Reading a writer’s work will actually give you an idea into their soul.

   I know some my stuff from my teen years will never see the light of day again, but it is an insight to see how I saw the world back then. I can see how I felt about love, authority, respect, good vs. evil and many other things. Now somethings haven’t changed and I still write those things in, but many things have changed as I have gotten older and have more of an understanding of how the world works.

   But right now I will admit that the main reason I write is to escape. I want to go to a place that I have in my head and put it on paper to be able to go back to again and again. Or I escape in a way that I want to get the thoughts out and never see them again. I write them down and throw them in the trash. This practice was really easy when I was a kid, but I have noticed the older I get the more tempting it is to pull those thoughts out and look at them again. Why? I have no idea because they are not good for anyone read. So I crumple them back up. Of course now I have a shredder and it has made that problem easier to avoid since I am too lazy to search through the pieces of paper and tape them back together. I would rather just forget them.

   But it’s not all bad like I said before. Writing helps with creativity, problem solving and writing very soppy “forgive me” notes. All in all, I just love writing and take real joy in it. It is really cool to watch a blank page become this world that was only in your head. You get to share a little bit of your self with every word you write. So give it a try. Write something today and see where it takes you.

   Where did it take me? Check out my author page! Have a great day!

6 Things Never Say to Someone with Secondary Infertility

   I know that there are people out there who only have the best intentions at heart, but all it take is one misplaced word to not feel like it. How do I know? Because I was surrounded by them who thought they were helping and I had to teach them what I needed to hear and when. The topic I want to talk about is what to NOT say to a friend, or even spouse, that is going through secondary infertility.

   Here is what you don’t know about what’s going on in their head. They feel broken, insufficient, second class, crazy, misunderstood and FRUSTRATED. So the last thing they need right now is for you to make them feel worse even if that isn’t your intention. So here is a list of things that made my situation worse and you should avoid.

1. “You will get pregnant if you are just patient.” I hated this one because my husband and I have dealt with secondary infertility for two years before he finally got a vasectomy to finally end the misery. No, if you are patient it won’t always happen. We tried and tried and tried and, you know what it got us? More heartache. If your friend has been talking about doing something permanent about their type of infertility (mine was chromosomal so the baby wouldn’t develop properly and ending in miscarriage) then NEVER, once again NEVER, say this. You might not know how long they have actually been trying. In your mind it has only been a few months that they have been public about it, but they could have been trying for a year before they announced it.

  • So what should you say instead? “I understand and I am here to listen to you.” All your friend needs to know is that someone will listen to them. I know that was what I needed the most. My doctor wouldn’t listen, and no one else believed me since I didn’t always get a positive pregnancy test, but it would have been the best thing. And if you don’t feel comfortable then listen to the best of your ability and softly suggest they find a professional to talk with. We cannot be everyone’s counselor and sometimes we shouldn’t be. So if it is too much to handle, then suggesting some help isn’t off limits.

2. “Well you have a baby, so you should be thankful.” I am going to tell you what this means – heartless! This is probably one of the most heartless things someone could say to someone who is going through secondary infertility. If you think that they are not thankful for their child, then you are out of touch. Your friend isn’t upset about not being able to have more kids because they are not thankful, but rather they are grieving the death of a dream. Do you have more than one child? If so, then why did you want more children? Shouldn’t you have just been thankful with your first child? Ridiculous right? Well this heartless saying is like a knife to the heart.

  • What should you say instead? “You have a beautiful child (or children), but I understand your natural desire to want more children.” It is 100% natural to want more kids so, when you can’t, it’s hard to accept. If you make them think their desire needs to be invalid just because they already have kids, then you are missing the point of their pain. Because they have kids already is why they are the most frustrated. They get to stare at their fertility every single day, and it is painful to wrap their heads around why they have been barred from having anymore. So don’t discount the desire or make them feel bad for wanting more kids.

3. “God has a plan.” If they are religious (even if they are super strong in their beliefs), don’t throw God in there right away because frankly those going through secondary infertility are probably also having a tough time with their relationship with God. There is nothing but confusion on why He would allow this to happen to them, and there is also A LOT of anger. This was true for my husband and I and it still is a sore spot when a trigger happens. It’s something that will take years to get over. So DO NOT just throw this out there just because you have nothing else to say. It will do more harm than good.

  • What should you say instead? Honestly, feel it out. I would suggest you wait until they bring it up. Don’t be the one to bring it up first and DO NOT just throw Bible verses at them about God’s love and plan. Like I said, this might do more harm than good. God does have a plan and we cannot see it. The problem is that your friend might not be able to see past the next day let alone a year from now. So just listen and be there even if you don’t say anything and just sit there in silence while your friend processes.

4. “Pull up your boot straps and get over it. There are people out there worse off than you.” Now if you ever say this to a friend going through secondary infertility, know that I am smacking you over the head right now. When was the last time you got some terrible news and needed time to process? How would you have felt if someone had just come in and told you to pretty much stop caring about your loss and get over it? You might be in a really good spot right now, but your friend isn’t. They need to be validated and understood. Not told to just get over it because they can’t and in some ways they never will. Really, when you are told you can’t have anymore children, you don’t get over it completely. Instead you just get really good at faking it. What you, as the friend, don’t see is your friend’s heart over the years crumble a little bit more every time someone else announces they are pregnant or simply see a cute baby in the market and the mother is doing nothing but complaining about motherhood. Your friend would take that baby in a minute if they could because they know the pain of not having one.

  • What should you say instead? “Take as long as you need. I know this is a really hard thing, and I am here with you.” If your friend knows there is going to be someone there who knows their story and is there for them they will be more comfortable. Maybe talk about their triggers as time goes along and be there for them when one is triggered. They need to know that people understand this isn’t the same thing as a gold fish dying where you can just go to the pet store and buy a new one. This is a life time issue and it won’t go away. Like I said, we just get really good at faking it since we know that our family and friends don’t want to hear about it all the time. So we stop talking which isn’t good either, but we don’t want to always be miserable to be around. If your friend is starting to close up, then this is where I would really suggest they get help from a professional.

5. “If you just relax it will happen just like it did for me.” NEVER, I say NEVER, compare your story with your friend’s. I understand that our personal story is where we get our experience, but every story is different. If you dealt with infertility and things worked out for you then great, but that doesn’t mean it will work out for your friend. Also your friend doesn’t need you smearing your success in their face. I know that isn’t what you are thinking when you say this, but it’s not a thing of encouragement.

  • What should you say instead? NOTHING. Nothing about your story unless it is completely relevant to your friend. What do I mean? The same. You can try to be encouraging, but it doesn’t always come across as encouragement. So when in doubt, say nothing.

6. “This too shall pass.” This is not true. The pain might fade to a dull ache, but that ache will be there forever especially with having kids first. If external triggers aren’t hard enough, there are the internal triggers as well. Nothing hurts worse than seeing your three year old rocking her baby doll and tell you she is putting her baby sister to bed. Talk about a shot in the heart. It is hard enough having to deal with others outside the home, but when the other kid(s) start asking for a sibling and you know you can’t give them one then there is nothing to make that pain go away.

  • What should you say instead? “It will always hurt, but it will get easier each day.” I know this sounds counter productive but it does help. Why? Look at the first part. You validate their pain and the second part is the encouragement they need. Because it is a day by day process, and there is no way to speed up the process.

   So there you have it. What not to say and what to say to your friend who is going through secondary infertility. It’s a painful process that will probably last a life time so please be patient and just be there for them. Be their hero and their support as they try to move forward and learn what their new life is going to be. Things will get easier for them, but it is going to take some time.

What Can be Saved From Black Mold?

   If you are reading this then you are going through a terrible nightmare and I am sorry. I know all about this terrible thing. My husband and I found out there was black mold in a rental we were in and we too had to figure out what could be saved and what couldn’t.

   Let’s first go over what black mold is. According to hgtv.com the simplest way to explain it:

Black-Mold

   “Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans. “

   Either way you look at it, black mold is nothing you really want to mess with. It also can be dangerous to your health causing upper respiratory infections, making asthma worse, constant colds and flus, and to the point of sepsis shock. How do I know? Because my husband almost died from his exposure and I was hospitalized with pneumonia. We got to the point that we were classified as having mold poisoning which is the highest level of exposure you can have.

   If you are having physical symptoms of mold poisoning, make sure you get the proper medical help you need and find a safe way to detox the mold out of your system preferably under a professional’s supervision. And don’t expect to be healed from it right away either. It took awhile to have it build up in your system and it will take some time to get it out.

   But now back to what can be saved. The biggest thing about getting out of a mold situation is to not get back in it which means dealing with your stuff. From our experience what could be saved was anything metal, hard plastic, hard porcelain, and glass. Which means:

  • Dishes
  • Pans
  • Pots
  • Some utensils
  • Silver ware
  • Fine China

   Why the short list? Because black mold is LOVES porous things like:

  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Things with motors
  • Soft Plastics
  • Cloth
  • Polyester like in pillows and comforters
  • Pleather
  • Leather
  • Microfiber
  • Micro Suede
  • Suede
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Hardwood
  • Lament

   So  how many things do you have like this in your house? Pretty much everything is the answer. Now, my husband and I tried to save our clothes but we ended up having to throw them away too since it just wouldn’t wash out. So I am sorry to say that pretty everything but that list I mentioned above. We lost everything in the long run and suffered through heartache after heartache as we toiled to save our items and they just ended up in the trash can.

   What do I suggest? Follow my list and trash the rest. It is not worth keeping things that will just contaminate the new place you live in because it will. The item will keep emitting spores and will fill your home with spores until they find a new source to start growing again. Can you see the problem? If you keep something from the mold house then you can just have the problem keep following you.

   I know it will be hard and it flat out sucks because you will have to throw out your whole life and start over. We don’t have anything from when we were first married, we don’t even anything from when our daughter was a baby, and we lost our entire library of books just to name a few heartache things that were lost. Every mom wonders if their daughter will wear their wedding dress, but I will never know I don’t have mine any more. It is going to be painful to go through this, but know that you have someone on your side who understands the pain and frustration you are going through.

Unless someone has gone through this kind of situation, they will never understand how you feel and many will think you are over reacting. I assure you that you are not. It is for the best for your family now instead of this happening again in the future.

If you think you need help processing, finding a counselor isn’t a bad idea. It took my husband and I a year after we were away from the situation to finally admit that going for some help to process the whole thing would be good. We tried it on our own as a strong couple and we needed some extra help. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, and, when it comes to replacing your stuff, you will need to ask for some. You will never know how much you really have until you lose it all.

But I would check with your insurance company. They might be able to help but ours didn’t. With a rental situation, it’s hard to pin point who was the renter that caused it and the insurance company said that it was preexisting so they wouldn’t do anything. Also check with your health department and see if you are lucky enough to live in an area with rights for renters (if you are renting) when it comes to black mold. I live in California and they have no such laws. So our landlord had no obligation to help us and we couldn’t find an attorney who would take the case.

All and all the situation stinks and all you can do is rely on family and friends to help you out. My husband’s work was amazingly generous with donations to replace what we had lost and I pray you are just as blessed. One thing is for sure. You will learn who your real friends are in a situation like this.

   So as we finish up, I am sorry I don’t have much better news, but it is the truth. If you want to be rid of the mold in the future only keep things that are metal, glass, hard plastic, and hard porcelain.